Klipsch Reference R-41M vs. Sony SSCS5 3-Way Speakers

Note: the 3D models above approximate the external volume of the speakers, and may not accurately reflect their shape.

Klipsch Reference R-41M Bookshelf Speakers Sony SSCS5 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers
$150 $200
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.30” × 5.75” × 7.90”
287mm × 146mm × 201mm
13.25” × 7.13” × 8.75”
337mm × 181mm × 222mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
68-21,000 Hz 53-50,000 Hz
ASR Score
2.8 4.5
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
5.7 7.2

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The Klipsch Reference R-41M and Sony SSCS5 speakers serve distinct listener profiles with their unique acoustic philosophies. Klipsch, with its horn-loaded tweeter, offers a lively, direct sound signature and impressive sensitivity, ideal for rock and cinema enthusiasts. The Sony SSCS5, with a 3-way design, aims for a balanced and nuanced sound, catering to a more varied genre palette. While Klipsch demands attention with its dynamic presence, Sony woos with subtlety and detail, making the choice between them a matter of personal sonic preference and the specificities of one's auditory landscape.

Speaker Comparison

When you're an audiophile on the hunt for the perfect bookshelf speaker, the quest can be as thrilling as it is daunting. Today, we pit two popular contenders against each other: the Klipsch Reference R-41M and the Sony SSCS5. Both sets of speakers come from brands with storied histories in the world of audio, yet they each offer a unique listening experience that caters to different tastes and preferences. Let's delve into the nuances of these sonic marvels and see how they stack up.

The Klipsch R-41M: A Horn-Loaded Dynamo

Klipsch has long been celebrated for its horn-loaded technology, and the Reference R-41M speakers are no exception. This design philosophy is all about efficiency and dynamic impact. The R-41M features a 1-inch aluminum LTS tweeter mated to a 90x90 square Tractrix Horn, which results in an impressive high-frequency response that is both crisp and expansive. The horn design also helps in controlling the dispersion of sound, ensuring a consistent listening experience throughout the room. The R-41M's trademark sound is lively, with an emphasis on clarity and presence that makes it a favorite for rock, pop, and cinematic scores.

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The Sony SSCS5: A Versatile Performer

In contrast, the Sony SSCS5 adopts a more traditional 3-way design, featuring a 5.12-inch woofer, a 0.98-inch dome tweeter, and a 0.75-inch super tweeter. This trio works in unison to cover a broad frequency range. The SSCS5 shines in its ability to produce a warm and balanced sound profile that doesn't favor one part of the spectrum over another. It's a speaker that plays well with a variety of genres, from jazz to classical to hip-hop, delivering a rich and full-bodied performance that belies its compact form.

Klipsch Reference R-41M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-41M arrow (at Amazon.com)

Build Quality and Aesthetics

Build quality is something that both Klipsch and Sony take seriously, and it shows in these bookshelf speakers. The R-41M boasts a robust MDF construction with a textured wood grain vinyl finish, giving it a classic look that complements its audio prowess. On the other hand, the SSCS5 sports a sleek, black design that feels modern and is likely to blend in seamlessly with most decor. Both are relatively compact, but the Klipsch is slightly smaller, which might be a deciding factor for those with limited space.

When it comes to specifications, the Klipsch R-41M has a sensitivity of 90dB at 2.83V / 1m, which is significantly higher than the Sony SSCS5's 87dB. This means that the R-41M can achieve a louder volume with the same amount of power input, making it ideal for those looking to fill a room with sound without needing a powerful amplifier. The SSCS5, while less sensitive, still manages to deliver ample volume in a typical room setting.

One aspect that may sway users is the difference in impedance. The Klipsch R-41M speakers have an impedance of 8 ohms, which is fairly standard and means they're compatible with a wide range of amplifiers. The Sony SSCS5, however, presents a 6 ohm load, which can be slightly more demanding for certain amplifiers or AV receivers, although most modern equipment can handle this without any problem.

In the end, the choice between the Klipsch Reference R-41M and the Sony SSCS5 bookshelf speakers boils down to personal taste and the specifics of one's listening environment. The R-41M offers punchiness and clarity with an efficient, room-filling design, making it a great choice for dynamic and impactful sound. The SSCS5, with its well-rounded audio performance and warm tonality, is perfect for those who enjoy a plush and enveloping listening experience. Whichever path you choose, both speakers are sure to elevate your home audio to new heights.

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Klipsch Reference R-41M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-41M Bookshelf Speakers
Sony SSCS5 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers
Sony SSCS5 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.